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Ratings and Book Reviews (2 3 star ratings
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    5/5 heart-melting stars

    I already fell in love with Wei-wei and Gao in The Liar's Dice, and I was overjoyed to finally see them get their HEA. Their story gave me ALL THE FEELS! I laughed, I cried, I swooned (don't get me started on the swoons... gah!), and I loved every single page of this book - even the ones that broke my heart. I absolutely adore "obediently wild" Wei-wei, who is fierce, and loyal, and lovely, and smart, and funny... *le sigh* And Gao - rational, street-smart, dangerous, all-around unsuitable - who is her perfect counterpart and has his hands full trying to keep her safe in this tale of murder, mystery, and marriage proposals.
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    Completely captivating

    The Hidden Moon by Jeannie Lin is the third in the Pingkang Li Mysteries series, set in Tang Dynasty China. While Liar's Dice is a terrific prequel to this story, it isn't required to fully appreciate and enjoy The Hidden Moon on its own. Lady Bai is a well-bred, well-educated woman who's reaching spinsterhood, which she is quite eager to embrace. As a middle child sandwiched between two cherished sons, she's quite aware that her role will never be as the star or even as the understudy but as the behind-the-scenes jill of all trades. With an agile mind and fierce intellect, she's long supported both her brothers in their studies, and now her elder brother in his investigative work, and knows that while their successes are at least in part hers, she will never receive public recognition. She longs for the freedom to act independently, knowing that marriage will likely cut off even the brief moments of autonomy she's managed to carve out for herself. And as the days pass, her mother is more and more eager to finalize her engagement to a local official to ensure she makes a good match. An acquaintance of Lady Bai's elder brother, Gao is from the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak. He's kept himself alive and well by his wits and strength, but knows he's not appropriate company for the intriguing Wei-wei. But when their paths cross again and again as they work to solve a high-profile assassination, neither can resist the other's allure. While seemingly entirely ill-suited, Gao and Wei-wei actually share more than just attraction. Both are quite familiar with what it means to be overlooked and undervalued. Their stolen moments of conversation give them both the sweet satisfaction of being seen and being understood. Jeannie Lin captures so well their thoughts and emotions, revealing a steadily growing connection that is layered and heartfelt. Beautifully written and completely captivating, The Hidden Moon will keep you turning its pages as its characters linger in your mind long after you set the book down. It's absolutely one for the keeper shelf.
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